Time for a bit of advanced maths


Charlotte and I discovered something rather peculiar about our income tax system yesterday and it’s occurred to us that it might be quite revealing to share it.

We had been struggling with my tax return for a very large part of the morning and had reached growling point, which as any self employed writer or artist will tell you is lurking just around the corner when we’re required to tackle these incomprehensible forms.

We had just about managed to make sense of their tortuous use of English, when we discovered that I was being told I owed the Inland Revenue £3.60 which had been held over from this year and the last and was ‘late’. This annoyed me mightily because I have been earning so little on both these years that by the time the forms were filled in and I’d admitted to the little I earned and listed my ‘acceptable’ outgoings, I had nothing left to pay.

So where did that £1.80 a year for two years come from?

There was nothing on the form to allow me to ask anybody who might know the answer, so we continued to fill in all the irritating bits and pieces until we reached THE END and there – damn my eyes – after I’d been told I didn’t have anything to pay, there was the same £3.60 being demanded.

I was so irritated with it that I decided to pay it and get it out the way. It was, after all, only £3.60. But after I’d sent off the debit card payment, Lottie and I did a bit of thinking and some advanced maths.

What if it is normal process for anybody who pays income tax but doesn’t earn enough to warrant paying any in any given year to be stung for a small and insignificant sum. How often does this happen, it seems like a successful con. All HRMC have to do is to sit back and wait for the suckers to pay it.

Now, in 2017 there were 4.8 million self employed people who filled in the abominable form and paid online. What if the same con had been worked on all of  them and they were all charged £1.80 or a similar sum? That would tot up to somewhere around £8.64 million.

Nice work if you can get it. The sad thing is, that because the inland revenue allow the monstrously and obscenely rich to avoid paying tax altogether and most of us now know it, it makes an obscenity of the entire business. They pay nothing and we are told we must pay a pittance, which we don’t owe anyway! There’s something very wrong with that.

I wonder whether anyone who has intimate knowledge of how the system works, can explain it and, if they can, I wonder whether they can tell us how those of us who don’t truly owe this money to HMRC can actually avoid paying it.

We mustn’t forget we live in very corrupt times.


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